Letter of Linda Freiman, Co-Chair ILGA-Europe

Riga, April 22, 2010

Dear friends in Torino,

sometimes we are reminded of how little we can predict the future or how an event some place far away – like a volcanic eruption in Iceland – will influence our daily lives. It was my intention and great hope to be with you today to be able to greet you in person and celebrate this spectacular film festival together with you, but instead I am writing you this letter from my home in Riga, Latvia.

ILGA Europe is an organisation made up of people – people in all European countries who are united in their wish to work for a better society for everyone. People of different gender identities and sexual orientation who know that what unites us and makes us all human is our ability to love and be loved – not the label someone else wishes to impose on us.

It is with this in mind that my organisation has been working for the advancement of the rights of LGBTI people for more than ten years. Today we have more than 300 member organisations from every country in Europe. It is an honour to represent such a vast and rich variety of organisations and activists from every corner of our continent. It is a pleasure to work for such a good cause.

Next year ILGA Europe will have its annual conference here in Torino. I am sure that you will greet us with great hospitality and that we will have a wonderful time in your beautiful country – same as I would have had these days if the volcano had not decided otherwise.

I sinserely hope that you have had a fabulous festival and I am looking very much forward to meeting you in 2011.

All my best wishes to you,

in friendship

Linda Freimane

Co-chair, ILGA Europe